Some people are just natural-born shots. It happens. Just like some people are natural golfers or hitters in baseball. But no matter how good your natural abilities may be, you still need to practice a heck of a lot to be the best.

Walt Purcell realized this. When his son Wyatt went to his grandparent’s house one day and shooting shotguns with his grandfather, he reported back some interesting news when he got home.

“I said, ‘Really? Did you have fun?’ He said, ‘Yeah, we had fun, we were shooting clay pigeons and I shot 56 out of 60.’ I said, ‘What are you talking about—I don’t own a shotgun and you’ve never shot one before,'” Walt said in this story from

Four years later, there was a custom-built training field in the Purcell’s back yard in Topeka, Kansas. Walt said he built it because otherwise they’d have to drive to Arkansas or Colorado for Wyatt to practice in a competition-style setting, the story says.

“We went through five different guns because he kept growing,” Walt said in the story.–353168821.html

The Olympic-style skeet range cost the family $15,000. There’s another $8,000 invested in Walt’s shotgun, and another $100 a week in ammo for practice.

What’s the goal? Wyatt said he hopes all the work, effort, and expense will lead him to making the Junior National, then the National Skeet Shooting Team.

“This is the one sport where the coach doesn’t yell at you, and your parents don’t yell at you. You’re up there doing your thing. Either you hit the target, or you miss the target, and you move on,” Walt said in the story. “They look at (Wyatt) and go, ‘Man, how does he do that?’ And they’re in the background trying to analyze him, trying to figure out how he does it, because it’s fast.”

To read the full story from, go here.